Signalling from cell-to-cell is fundamental for determining differentiation and patterning. This communication can occur between adjacent and distant cells. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are membrane-based structures thought to facilitate the long-distance movement of signalling molecules. EVs have recently been found to allow the transport of two major developmental signalling pathways: Hedgehog and Wnt. These signalling molecules undergo crucial post-translational lipid modifications, which anchor them to membranes and impede their free release into the extracellular space. Preparation of these ligands in EVs involves intracellular vesicle sorting in an endocytosis-dependent recycling process before secretion. In the present review, we discuss the most recent advances with regard to EV involvement in developmental signalling at a distance. We focus on the role of the protein complexes involved in EV genesis, and provide a comprehensive perspective of the contribution of these complexes to intracellular vesicle sorting of developmental signals for their extracellular secretion, reception and transduction.

You do not currently have access to this content.